A new partnership from an East Didsbury high school will expand the use of its sports and performing arts facilities on evenings, weekends and during school holidays.

The Barlow RC High School and Specialist Science College has joined forces with School Lettings Solutions (SLS) to manage its facilities and enhance the provision of the leisure venues for various activities, such as fitness classes, dance workshops and craft groups.

SLS partners with schools, academies and colleges to fully manage their facilities at zero cost to the organisations, while linking them with local community groups in need of affordable space.

The high school will play host to additional activities, such as football matches and gym classes. Local groups can hire its facilities, which include a sports hall, an astro turf pitch, main hall and a gymnasium, for regular classes or ad hoc events.

It is hoped the partnership will open up more opportunities to the school’s students, as well as people of all ages from the local area.

Janet Murray, school business manager at The Barlow RC High School and Specialist Science College, said: “We’re really excited to be expanding our services to the wider community. We’re proud of the facilities we offer our students, such as our astro turf pitch and gymnasium, and in addition to evenings, our facilities can now be hired on weekends.

“We’ve already got some great existing and new partners signed up to use our facilities, and we’re looking forward to getting more on board. This can only be a positive thing for our students and people in the area.”

SLS currently works with more than 150 schools nationwide, helping them to make the best use of their facilities. It provides a fully managed service, including managing bookings and staffing the facilities to ensure rooms are secure and ready for the next school day. The business is expanding across the country and is looking to sign up schools in the Manchester area, which are currently facing hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding cuts.

Jackie Latu, managing director of SLS, said: “It’s great to welcome The Barlow RC High School and Specialist Science College as our latest partner. The school has got some brilliant facilities and we’ve already had lots of booking enquiries. We’re passionate about ensuring people have access to opportunities that boost their health and wellbeing, so we’re keen to provide local groups with marketing support to make sure their clubs thrive and are well attended.

“There is huge potential to provide more places like this for people of all ages to come together, which will be really positive for the area. At the same time, our partnerships provide a new stream of income for schools as their budgets come under more and more pressure.”


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